The Door County Coffee & Tea Company is more than just a coffee shop. A better description would be a “coffee university.” Taking a tour of the establishment could earn you an advanced degree regarding America’s favorite hot drink! You’ll walk away with a finer understanding and appreciation of what goes into a cup of their brew.
Door County is on a peninsula in a rather rural setting in northeast Wisconsin. Flanked by Green Bay to the west and Lake Michigan to the east, the abundance of year-round outdoor activities has made it a vacation destination for many decades. It is that tourist trade that created the niche founder Vicki Wilson set out to claim.
Established in Forestville, Wisconsin (population 412) with 3,000 square feet, the business opened its doors to the public in 1993. Vicki Wilson’s love of Door County and good coffee translated perfectly into the operation. After a few years, the company had outgrown its birth place and moved about 20 miles north as the crow flies to the town of Carlsville and a 10,000-square-foot facility.
Realizing the need to produce coffee that was different and better in order to stand out in the market, the company roasts only the best green coffee beans grown in the world. Those are Specialty Class 1 Arabica beans that make up just the top 2 percent of the harvest annually. Arabica coffee is grown at elevations of 2500 feet or more, and is the cream of the crop.
Today the coffee roasting business has expanded to 20,000 square feet and employs 40 people. Besides supplying local needs, their coffee is available online and is shipped to several thousand wholesale customers. But still, the mission is to produce a superior product.
They have a retail store on site, along with a coffee shop and restaurant. Also, if you call ahead, it’s possible to arrange a tour of the roasting and bagging facilities. That’s where you learn enough to get your degree in the intricacies of the coffee roasting business!